I’m Hooked on an (Ethane) Feeling, High on (Cracker) Believing

Hooked on a FeelingWill the northeast ever get an ethane cracker plant to handle the massive amount of ethane being produced in wet gas areas of western PA, eastern OH and the panhandle of WV? Some people think so (MDN among them), although each year that goes by without a cracker it seems less likely because of new ethane and NGL pipelines being built to haul ethane out of the northeast. Still, people “in the know” say they have a feeling. Kind of reminds us of the old BJ Thomas song, “Hooked on a Feeling.”

Yesterday at the Wheeling (WV) Economic Outlook Conference, Don Rigby, executive director of the Wheeling-based Regional Economic Development Partnership, was the latest “in the know” person to say he’s hooked a cracker feeling…
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CONSOL’s Excellent Q3 Results, New Deal with Blue Racer Midstream

CONSOL Energy issued an extensive operations update yesterday, for the quarter ending Sept. 30. The company says they sold more natural gas (and coal) than they had expected to during the quarter. They also said they have just signed an agreement with Blue Racer Midstream to ramp up infrastructure buildout for CONSOL’s drilling in Ohio’s wet gas area–specifically in Noble County, OH.

During 3Q13 CONSOL drilled 15 horizontal wells–12 of them targeting the Marcellus Shale, 3 of them in the Utica Shale. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about CONSOL’s northeast drilling for 3Q13…
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2nd Landman Pleads Guilty to Single Count in $2.4M Fraud Scheme

A month ago MDN told you that one of two landmen accused of stealing mineral rights from unsuspecting landowners by forging signatures and using fake companies had plead guilty (see PA Landman Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Landowners, Off to Jail). His name is William Ray and he’ll not only do three years in the big house, he’ll also pay back over a half million dollars of what he stole.

At the time, Ray’s partner in crime (and the mastermind behind the scheme), Derek Candelore, plead not guilty. Yesterday Candelore plead guilty to one charge of mail fraud…
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Are Marcellus Drilling Regs Killing Conventional Drilling in PA?

A pair of north central PA Republicans from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives along with “hundreds” of independent oil producers are sending a message to PA politicians and regulators: You can’t use the same broad brush you’re using with unconventional shale drilling to paint the traditional conventional drilling in the state. The independents say that new regulations crafted for Marcellus Shale (deep) drilling should not apply to conventional (shallow) drilling and if this ongoing “unfair” situation continues, it will drive conventional drilling in the state, which has been around for 150 years, out of existence.

Do the independents have a point? Are they an “apple” being regulated by unfair and overly strict “orange” standards? Or to change up the metaphors, is this a case of the buggy whip industry grumbling about those newfangled automobiles?…
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TerrAqua Gets Conditional Approval for PA Frack Wastewater Plant

MDN has been watching the progress of a proposed new frack wastewater processing facility proposed by TerrAqua for Smith Township (Washington County), PA. A month ago the town held a somewhat bumpy public hearing about the proposed facility (see TerrAqua a Half Step Closer to New Frack Wastewater Facility).

Last night Smith Township supervisors voted to grant a zoning variance to TerrAqua for the plant–contingent on the plant gaining approval from the state Dept. of Environmental Protection and provided TerrAqua agrees to the same terms MAX Environmental follows in that vicinity–terms that limit the number of trucks coming and going and the hours of operation. TerrAqua says they need to study the variance before commenting…
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ecorpStim Tries to Interest France in Waterless Fracking Tech

In April, MDN told you about progress with a new waterless method of fracking that uses 100% nonflammable propane fracking fluid. The technique was developed by eCORP Stimulation Technologies, a subsidiary of eCORP International (see Non-Flammable Liquid Propane Used for 100% Waterless Fracking). ecorpStim, as they call themselves, doesn’t seem to have had much luck in finding drillers in the U.S. to use their technology–no doubt because it’s so cheap to use water for fracking.

Sensing there may be an opportunity, ecorpStim recently went on a field trip–to France–to present their technological “break through” to members of the French Parliament. You may recall the French Supreme Court recently upheld a countrywide ban on hydraulic fracturing–at least fracking that uses water (see France’s Fracking Ban ‘Absolute’ After Court Upholds Law). Since water fracking isn’t an option in France, ecorpStim is hoping the French will consider a slightly more expensive, non-water option for fracking…
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Halcon’s $70M Oil/Rail Terminal in Lordstown, OH Advances

In July, MDN told you about Halcon Resources’ plan to build a $70 million oil storage and rail-loading terminal in Lordstown, OH (see Halcon Resources Plans $70M Oil Terminal in Lordstown, OH). That project will be one step closer to reality with the completion of a 12,000-foot loop train track at the Ohio Commerce Center in Lordstown (Trumbull County).

An update on the Halcon project…
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Radioactive Bilge Emanates from ‘Radioactive Waste Alert’ in OH

Unfortunately the old Chinese proverb has come true: We live in interesting times. We live in a day and age when thinking, contemplation and logic are foreign concepts to many people. Instead, we get the pablum of headlines, sound bites and billboards. The latest pristine example of non-thinking comes from a billboard near Columbus, OH that targets a business doing great work for the shale drilling industry by recycling drill cuttings–the leftover dirt and rock from drilling a bore hole.

The billboard (see our Pinterest pics on right) says, “Don’t Frack My Water – Protect Columbus” and is sponsored by “RadioactiveWasteAlert.org” with a picture of a girl drinking what appears to be contaminated water from a bottle with a radioactive symbol on the side. It’s aimed at stopping Ohio Soil Recycling from doing the important work that they do (see OH Company Turns Drill Cuttings into Clean Fill Dirt in 24 Hours). What’s the average Columbus commuter going to think? Hopefully at least some of them won’t fall for this cheap shot–this un-thinking gimmick–from a fringe group of anti-fossil fuel nutters…
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